I’ve been thinking a lot about Richmond and our music scene here…especially after my experience at this year’s Hopscotch Music Festival. I wanted to give a shout out to some of the musicians that are in our fair city and all of the great music that they’ve made in the past year or so. Please check out everyone’s music and maybe discover some gems that you didn’t know about….and hopefully that will lead to even more support of our great music scene in RVA.
(in no particular order…..)
Bryan Hooten: One of Richmond’s finest trombone players, composers, and improvisers. Bryan recently released a solo trombone record called “Richmond Love Call” and he also leads Ombak (featuring Trey Pollard-guitar, Cameron Ralston-bass, Brian Jones-drums, and recently JC Khul-saxophone). They have two albums which are available on the Ombak bandcamp page and you can also hear Bryan on recordings by Fight the Big Bull, No BS!, and many other Richmond groups. http://twitter.com/BryanHooten
Scott Burton: Leader/Composer/Arranger for Glows in the Dark (Scott Burton-guitar, Cameron Ralston-bass, John Lilley-saxophone, Reggie Pace-trombone, and myself on drums). Glows recently released a new recording of remixes from our last record (Beach of the War Gods) called “Tides of War” and we also recently recorded a new album featuring Count Bass D, John Robinson, Jawwad Taylor, and 2020. Scott and I also play in a duo we call SCUO, and we just released our debut album on New Atlantis Records available here…and here (SCUO bandcamp page). Scott was also featured on Jason Crane’s “Jazz Session” Podcast where he talks about the Richmond music scene, Glows in the Dark, movies and prog….a must listen for anyone interested in one of RVA’s finest. http://twitter.com/scotttburton https://twitter.com/glowsinthedark
Matthew E. White: Matt White is a staple of the Richmond music scene, leader of Fight the Big Bull and he has recently released his first record as a singer, and the first record on his Spacebomb Records label (in collaboration with the Portland label Hometapes), called “Big Inner”. The record features many of Richmond’s finest horn players, singers, string players and of course the Spacebomb rhythm section of Pinson Chanselle on drums and Cameron Ralston on bass, along with Matt White on guitar and Trey Pollard with string arrangements. (also check out Matt on the “Jazz Session” Podcast and you can see him in Rolling Stone as an “Artist to Watch” or read interviews with him on various blogs and see reviews of “Big Inner” on Pitchfork and other music blogs) http://twitter.com/amattwhitejoint https://twitter.com/fightthebigbull
No BS! Brass Band: Featuring almost all of Richmond’s best horn players (Reggie Pace-trombone, Bryan Hooten-trombone, John Hulley-trombone, Dillard Watt-bass trombone, Rob Quallic-trumpet, Marcus Tenney-trumpet, Taylor Barnett-trumpet, David Hood-alto saxophone, Stefan Demetriadis-tuba) and one of RVA’s most amazing drummers/recording engineers in Lance Koehler. No BS! has been a staple in Richmond for years now and their last record, entitled “No BS!”, is a great representation of what you can expect at one of their consistently packed shows. There’s also word on the street that they have been working on a new album, so be on the look out for that. https://twitter.com/nobsbrass
Trey Pollard: Guitarist, composer, arranger, audio engineer, computer software programer you name it and it seems like Trey does it. He is a co-founder of Songwire Studios (along with Ryan Corbitt), guitarist with many of Richmond’s great bands, and a composer and arranger for many bands and for commercials and television shows. He is an integral part of the Spacebomb Records sound and also recently released an album with his band “Old New Things” , along with trumpeter Taylor Barnett, called “Ghosts” which is one of my favorite albums of the past few years. http://twitter.com/pollardtrey http://twitter.com/SongwireStudios http://twitter.com/S_A_Samples http://straightaheadsamples.com/
Gabe Churray aka Snow Panda: What can be said about Snow Panda? Gabe has been a major influence of the sound coming from Richmond, either from his solo records or from his many remixes of Richmond groups and national bands including most recently Bon Iver. Gabe has also lent his keyboard soundscapes to many recordings helping to create a sound that is truly unique to Richmond. (see any ILAD recording or some future Spacebomb recordings, and come see Matt White’s band live and hear it first hand). Snow Panda also performed a solo set at the Hometapes Friend Island Day Party at Hopscotch this year. It was truly one of the best performances that I saw at the festival….amazing. Hear more for yourself here….(Snow Panda Bandcamp page) http://twitter.com/snowpandamusic
Cameron Ralston: Cameron is one of the most in demand bass players in VA. He plays with the ScottClark4tet, Glows in the Dark, Matthew E. White, Fight the Big Bull, Ombak, Brian Jones, as well as many other projects….and he’s appeared on numerous recordings with each of these, and other, groups. He is also one of the founding members of Spacebomb Records and is part of the house band for the label. There are truly just too many good things to say about Cameron….just check out anything that he’s on and you won’t be disappointed http://twitter.com/cameronthewise
Pinson Chanselle: Drummer/percussionist extraordinaire. Also a founding member of Spacebomb Records and part of the house band for the label, Pinson plays on Matthew E. White’s new album as well as recordings by Fight the Big Bull, James Wallace and the Naked Light, Josh Small, David Karsten Daniels just to list a few. Definitely one of the best drummers around. http://twitter.com/pinsonthemighty
Reggie Pace: Reggie plays trombone Glows in the Dark, No BS! Brass, Fight the Big Bull, and many other Richmond groups and has recently been traveling the world with the Grammy winning group Bon Iver, led by Justin Vernon. Reggie and I have a duo called Etaka that we’ve been working on and plan on recording some new music for. He also leads some groups of his own including the Trio of Justice (featuring the great drummer Devonne Harris and fellow trombonist Reggie Chapman) and he is a founding member of the No BS! Brass Band. No one has been a bigger advocate of, and integral part of, the Richmond music scene than Reggie and you can hear an interview with Reggie on the “Jazz Session” Podcast where he talks about all things No BS! and Richmond. http://twitter.com/ReggiePace
Brian Jones: One of the best drummers/musicians/composers in Richmond, Brian is one of the major figures in the Richmond music scene. He’s played with everyone and is one of the most in demand drummers in VA. Brian continually puts out his own albums featuring different combinations of Richmond musicians to form unique bands, all of which are amazing, and all of his album are a must listen….especially if you want to hear some of what continues to inspire the Richmond scene. (just some of his groups are M.A.P. Trio, Brian Jones Double Quartet, Brian Jones Percussion Ensemble, Boots of Leather…)
Daniel Clarke: An amazing musical talent, Daniel has recently been traveling the world playing piano and singing with the great singer K.D. Lang. He’s also played with Mandy Moore, Rachel Yamagata, The Courtyard Hounds, Dixie Chicks, Mike Viola, Ryan Adams, Jesse Harper, Old School Freight Train, Jason Mraz, Chris Keup, John Alagia, Glyn Johns, The Congress….and the list goes on and on. Check out KD’s new album “Sing it Loud” here.
Jason Scott: Jason is an amazing saxophonist/composer and he is also a integral part of my group the ScottClark4tet and Scrio. As a member of Fight the Big Bull, he played on their most recent recording “All is Gladness in the Kingdom” and he most recently recorded on Matthew E. White’s album. He leads his own groups….Smalltown and the Hi-Steps. (and he was voted as a Rising Star for clarinet in Downbeat Magazine’s Critics Poll for 2012) http://twitter.com/jschwill
Bob Miller: Simply one of my favorite trumpet players, musicians, and people. Bob plays with just about everybody and has recorded with more people than I can list. Right now, you can hear him on the new ScottClark4tet recording, or on recordings by Fight the Big Bull, Bio Ritmo, The Big East, most of the Spacebomb recordings and many many more. http://twitter.com/mambobobmiller
Bio Ritmo: Bio Ritmo put on a great show at this years Hopscotch festival….which, at this point, shouldn’t be any surprise….they’ve been putting on great shows for over 20 years. Check them out at one of their shows in Richmond (or around the world) and hear for yourself. (Bio Ritmo is Rei Alvarez-Vocals, Guiro, Giustino Ricco-Timbal & Coro, Hector Barez-Conga, Mike Montanez-Bongo, Bob Miller-Trumpet, Synth & Coro, Mark Ingraham-Trumpet, John Lilley-Sax, Toby Whitaker-Trombone, Marlysse Simmons-Piano, Organ, Eddie Prendergast-Bass)
Chris Ryan: Guitarist/song writer…I’ve been lucky to play more with Chris the past few years and also recorded on his album “Pray for the Rain” along with Brian Mahne and Derrick Englert. You can find out more about Chris and check out his record here on itunes.
Bryce McCormick: Pianist/song writter/video maker….Bryce kind of does it all. I was fortunate to be apart of his new album “Let It Go” produced by Trey Pollard and Bryce and also featuring Andrew Randazzo on bass. Check out more about Bryce and listen to some tracks from his album here…(Bryce McCormick bandcamp page) http://twitter.com/BryceMcCormick
Other Richmond Musicians that more people in the world should be aware of:
Lauren Serpa (Lauren’s photo page)
The Big East
(by no means is this intended to be a complete list….)
Also, here is a pretty amazing chart, done by Peter McElhinney, connecting some of the musicians in Richmond together….